We launched our blog with little fanfare in May 2012, and this post celebrates reaching the landmark of 750 posts over almost ten years. Many members of staff and researchers at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library have contributed to the blog over the last decade, and they have ensured a steady flow of lively and stimulating posts, covering a vast array of topics.
It is fair to say that we embarked on this adventure as complete novices, but over the years we have developed our ‘offer’, providing more in-depth and reflective pieces, while we now prefer to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for shorter news items. There has recently been a stronger focus on research, especially since the launch of the John Rylands Research Institute and Library in 2021. I am particularly proud of the ‘Rylands Reflects’ series, launched in 2020, in which we explore the history of the Rylands and its collections, and our current practice as heritage professionals, in the context of racism, colonisation and representation of marginalised groups.
I thought it would be interesting to pick out a few statistics and highlights from the last ten years. Our top four blog post were:
- Manuscript Catalogues Go Online, published in 2012, 4,815 views to date.
- ‘The past is a foreign country’: L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between, published in 2015, 4,014 views.
- Conservator’s Caviar: Isinglass Preparation, published in 2018, 2,725 views.
- Stereoscopic Images of the First World War, published in 2014, 2,440 views.
2017 was our most prolific year, with 96 blog posts published. Our most popular year was 2019, with 67,321 page views by 32,300 visitors. The blog attracts a world-wide audience, though the UK and US predominate. Who were the single viewers from Myanmar, the British Virgin Islands and Macedonia, and what were they interested in?
Please let us know what you think of the blog and how you would like to it to develop in the future. We look forward to celebrating our 1000th blog in a few years’ time.
This is wonderful to see John, the far reaching benefits of archive collections. And in these (what feels to be) very uncertain times, how the love of knowledge, and enrichment. The passion for research and sharing of ideas can bring us all together 😀 If they were alive today, or indeed from some loft place on the ‘other side’, I would imagine that Mr & Mrs Rylands would feel so enormously proud and happy to see their Library still going strong, and reaching so many people beyond the walls of the beautiful John Rylands Library. Congratulations to all concerned! And if my memory serves me correctly, I think I wrote one too, some time ago about a set of letters from WW1. Thank you for that opportunity because it set me on my own journey too 🙂